Welcome back, Judythe. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve chosen to write love stories because I love a happily-ever-after ending. I write from a Christian worldview because that’s my life and I want to share its principles.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my husband. Looking back, I can say my wedding day was as God ordained as the day He called my name. We’ve had quite a journey these fifty-something years and I can’t wait for the next fifty.
How has being published changed your life?
Being published has opened opportunities for me to shed my introvert tendencies. I’ve come to enjoy sharing about my books in conversations and discussing my books at signings and book clubs. I still get butterflies, but because so many readers tell me how much they love my stories, I’m eager to talk about my books.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Susan Wiggs, Map of the Heart.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m plotting the next books in the Fitzpatrick Family series - Eight preacher kids, each with a sweet romance story of his or her own. At the same time, I’m doing final edits on a romantic suspense. It’s a new genre for me, and I’m excited about it.
What would be your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to rent a cottage in
wander around the countryside and drink in the beauty, relish the culture, and
visit friends I’ve made on previous visits. It’s where I recharge. Ireland
How do you choose your settings for each book?
My settings depend largely on the story. I do tend to select places I’ve visited or where I’ve lived. As a military brat and spouse, that’s many, many places. If the story and a place I’ve lived connect for a plot, then I’m able to give authenticity to the setting.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend some one-on-one time talking with Dr. Tony Evans. I listen to his radio broadcasts on a local Christian radio station and love his down-to-earth approach to spiritual living.
My pastor, Robert Morris, is a good friend of Tony Evans. He often comes to our church. And one year, I was privileged to be a teacher at a Christian Writer’s Workshop at his church. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I recently started attending Sacred Harp Sings, also called Fasola singing. It’s shape note singing born from colonial “singing schools.” It’s not performing but sitting in a square with the four parts facing one another to sing hymns and anthems from traditional songbooks. “Sacred harp” refers to the human voice —the musical instrument we were given at birth. If you’re unfamiliar, check it out on YouTube.
You’ll also find me swimming and doing water aerobics or baking and cooking. I love to experiment with recipes. The exercise helps to balance the calorie intake from all the taste tasting.
I have never heard of “Sacred Harp.” I will check it out. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Once I understood story structure, my next obstacle became planning or plotting my stories. Every writer has their own system and I spent years trying to mold my style from theirs. Most of the time I failed miserably, but I learned my system. I’m not a strict plotter or a pantster. I’m somewhere in between. I use Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plotting as my guide and let my characters offer twists and turns as their story unfolds in my head. I call it being a plan-ster.
That’s a lot like what works best for me, too. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read lots, study craft and, most important, WRITE something, anything every day. Your creative juices thrive when you write.
Tell us about the featured book.
One night, in that twilight zone of falling asleep, David Sands, a secondary character in the PROMISES series, told me he’d lost his Shirley to cancer. I told him he was wrong, but he insisted. Then Debra Hughes, another secondary character, confided she’d half-fallen in love with her dead best friend’s husband. The romantic in me knew I had to find a way for the two to be together. Since a pendant’s promise started the PROMISES series, it was only fitting that keeping promises should end the series.
David Sands lost his wife three years ago. Debra Hughes was his wife’s best friend and business partner. Debra and David have been friends for years. They both made promises to his wife before her death.
He promised to sell their condo and donate the proceeds to their foundation that support families of MIA and POW soldiers. Debra promised to look after David. They’ve comforted each other in their grief now as they work together to close out the wife’s estate, their bond grows into mutual attraction. Will keeping their promises open their eyes and hearts to a future together?
Though Promises to Keep is book four in the PROMISE series, all the books are standalone stories.
Please give us the first page of the book.
David Sands bypassed the elevator and took the stairs two at a time hoping to slip unnoticed into his Until They Return (UTR) office in the Cabot Enterprises building.
“You’re late.” Alex Cabot fell in step beside him when David exited the stairwell door. The unspoken again hung in the air.
“I got a late start, and traffic was heavier than I anticipated.” He walked into the office he’d shared with Shirley and swung his briefcase onto the reproduction desk he hated before he met Alex’s gaze.
“And you stopped at Old Gray again, didn’t you?”
“There was that.”
David braced for the oft-repeated lecture about his lengthy stops at the
cemetery. Although they had been best friends since their duty days in Knoxville , and he
knew Alex meant well, he could never quit visiting his wife’s gravesite. Vietnam
Alex slid into the chair in front of David’s desk. “I want you to join Lily and me for dinner tonight.”
The muscles in David’s neck went stiff. He rolled his shoulders. “Alex, I—”
“That wasn’t a request.” Alex’s words snapped with military authority.
David’s shoulders drooped. The dinner discussion would undoubtedly be about selling the contents of Shirley’s condo. How was he going to let go of the last physical things they’d shared while her toothbrush was still on his bathroom counter?
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit Judythe’s website to learn more about her.
Read her award-winning blog View from the Front Porch
Follow her on Twitter
Thank you, Judythe, for sharing this novel with me and my blog readers. I’m eager to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book.Promises to Keep - Paperback
Promises to Keep - Kindle
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